ZIMBABWE MAKES HISTORY AS PATA CONFIRMS ITS MEMBERSHIP
(Posted 17th June 2016)
Zimbabwe today became the first member outside the traditional geographical area of operation of PATA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, when just two hours ago the Chief of Staff of PATA Mr. Dale Lawrence and the CEO of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Mr. Karikoga Kaseke signed the admission documents.
This happened on the sidelines of the ongoing Sanganai 2016 World Tourism Expo, a major coup for Zimbabwe and a major new direction for PATA, which has so far only admitted members from their direct area of operation.
Said Mr. Dale Lawrence when asked if this signalled a shift of focus or had required a special resolution by PATA: ‘When PATA was formed the objective was to support travel to, from and within the PATA geographical area of the Pacific and Asia. The admission of Zimbabwe as the first African member is in line with the mandate to support travel from the PATA area to that country‘.
In turn did ZTA chief Kaseke acknowledge that special moment to be the first country from the African continent to break the glass ceiling which hitherto existed and left no doubt where the new membership was heading: ‘This MoU in itself does not move things along, we need to fill the membership with activities and work together to accomplish our objectives, which is to increase travel from the Pacific and in particular Asia to Zimbabwe. In fact, now that we are a member I think we can host a major PATA meeting or tourism exhibition here in Zimbabwe in the space of five years‘.
It is understood that other African countries and in particular the Indian Ocean islands may now very well also seek membership in PATA, which could significantly raise the organization’s numbers and geographical extent across the globe and could turn PATA into a global body.
The YouTube upload of the signing ceremony can be accessed via https://youtu.be/TeN1YREYbnI